E-Books, E-Readers, Kindles and the like …

So, it being Monday and me having nothing better to occupy my mind … I was considering the whole Kindle issue.  Let’s contextualise this a bit first – I’m an iPod freak.  I never leave home without it and the more songs I can cram onto it the better!  I have bought music online in digital format and I listen to my CDs more on the pod than I do on the stereo.  I love having my music library to browse through wherever I am.  So, I find I’m asking why am I not so excited about the advent of a digital age for books?  Thus far, I’ve come up with several potential reasons for this.  Primarily, I love books – not the words inside them, but the physical books.  I fondle books and I smell books.  I get excited (in a geeky way) about the quality of paper and the type of font.  But why should this put me off ebook readers?  My husband has an equally geeky attachment to CDs but as soon as he gets a new one, it gets grabbed and stacked onto the pod.  What about the experience of reading?  Definitely that’s part of it, I like holding a book and I love bookmarks.  However, the Kindle age would mean that I wouldn’t need to carry a backpack full of them around, I could take an e-reader on the daily commute and save the shoulder muscles.  Why, then, am I not rushing out to Kindle-ise my life?  I’ve come to the conclusion the flaw is in the essential difference between books and CDs in the digital age.  I have 1000+ books and we have 1000+ CDs.  When I got my first iPod, I spent an enjoyable weekend grabbing all my CDs and installing my music collection on the little beauty.  How would I spend the first weekend with a Kindle?  Well, I guess that would be sitting on Amazon spending money I didn’t have, buying books I already own in digital format.  This would never work for me.  My iPod is an addition to my music collection – I can still own the physical CDs.  With Kindles and the like, I have to make a choice – be digital or paper or I have to buy books twice.  I can’t spend a weekend grabbing my library, it doesn’t work that way.  I can’t enjoy reading the original copy of a book and use the Kindle for my long distance travel or weeks away.  The difference in media, music vs words, means that it will never be practical to grab your book collection.  This is why I’ll never be a Kindle convert.  What about the rest of you out there?

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2 thoughts on “E-Books, E-Readers, Kindles and the like …

  1. Depending on your genre of choice, however, you’re actually missing out on a lot of new work available only in e-format.

    For a while, e-books were considered the last bastion of those poor schumck writers who couldn’t hack it in NY. Not so. There are a lot of great writers who aren’t published in NY for a variety of reasons.

    Personally, I’m most familiar with romance. If you’re interested, you might try some of the selections at Samhain Publishing, which is a general romance publisher. Other pubs like Ellora’s Cave and LooseId concentrate on erotic romance, which has really found a niche in e-publishing. Those three publishers are known in the industry for consistently putting out a product that’s able to compete with the big boys in NY.

    So rejecting e-reading as only re-purchasing books you could have in paper means that you’d be missing out on a whole world of great stories.

  2. If they were more affordable, I think I’d be all over a Sony Reader (prettier than a Kindle). I’ve started using the library’s ebook service, so having a dedicated reader would be handy for that.

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